By Dan Miller
March 3, 2009
Ah, these computers and the internet are not only enjoyable, they've become indispensable in our society.
And while I'm clearly not a computer wizard, I've gotten OK with the basics.
I can type faster than ever before (thanks to the marvel of backspace, delete and spellcheck)... and I know how to print a page of text.
I can navigate websites fairly well... I've even conquered "copy and paste"....
And, except for a few pigheaded, uncooperative attachments, I can handle email.
Even when I'm struggling to understand a particular computer function, I can always turn to my 10-year old daughter, who can patiently walk me though what I need to do.
It was all just getting too easy.... until recently.
Ever since I made the big switch from dial-up to cable for my internet connection, everything had been downloading quickly and efficiently.
But then, several weeks ago... everything..... started........ downloading......... slowly.......... like........... pouring............. mo... lasses......... and..... it............ was...... maddening.
A friend asked me if I had "password protection" on my wireless setup in the house.
"No" I said, "do I need it?"
"Well" he said, "you might be supplying a wireless network for your entire neighborhood, and that could eat up your bandwidth."
Hmmm... would people do that?
Would they click into my wireless network?
I confess that -- on one or two occasions -- I have looked to see what wireless internet connections might be putting a signal onto my computer....
I've also noticed that some of the available networks bear the names of some neighbors.... things like "Bob's network."
I've also noticed that if -- accidentally, of course -- I tried to click into one of those networks, they -- everyone of them -- have password protection.
So my new mission was to set up password protection for my wireless network at home.
I struggled until after 4 am.... that's 4 in the morning.... trying to figure it all out.
Today, I have reason to believe that I have password protection.... though I'm not certain.
I guess I could listen out for any neighbors bellyaching about losing their internet access.
Or I could humble myself and ask my 10-year old if she could give her daddy a little help.